Compulsory attendance

I’m talking about the elimination of compulsory attendance.  I’m not sure if there are states with “compulsory education” requirements.  (New York maybe?) Even a politician encouraging the current overwhelming bureaucracy knows they cannot get in our children’s heads (yet) and force what is determined to be ‘education’.   That’s one reason why Illinois has a COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE statute.  (Larry and Susan Kaseman wrote a good article about that in Home Education Magazine: Don’t Let Compulsory Attendance Turn into Compulsory Education)

David Boaz of the Cato Institute and The Libertarian Reader and Liberating Schools editor wrote this article in Yale’s The Politic:

Deregulating Education [and] Liberating schools from the burden of federal meddling

Education is a perfect example of one major theme of limited government: that many vitally important things in American society are not the province of the federal government. No one questions the importance of education in a complex modern society. Education is the process by which we impart moral values to our children, make them part of our particular culture, develop their ability to think, and give them specific kinds of information that they will need to be productive adults, good citizens, and civilized human beings.

He went back to fairly recent history and a 1941 Commission report released in celebration of the US Constitution’s Sesquicentennial:

Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, Congress understood that. The History of the Formation of the Union under the Constitution, published by the United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, under the direction of the president, the vice president, and the speaker of the House in 1941, contained this exchange in a section titled “Questions and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution”:

Q. Where, in the Constitution, is there mention of education?

A. There is none; education is a matter reserved for the states.

Education as a matter reserved for states without attempts at centralized control was a given then.  He continues with this:

The greatest service Congress could perform for American education would be to rekindle the original understanding of the delegated, enumerated, and thus limited powers of the federal government and to return the control and financing of education to states, localities, and families.

I don’t think the current Congress is capable.  They can’t even pass the Enumerated Powers Act.

From Walter Williams concerning  Congressional Constitutional Contempt



In each new Congress since 1995, Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359). The Act, which has yet to be enacted into law, reads: “Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. The failure to comply with this section shall give rise to a point of order in either House of Congress. The availability of this point of order does not affect any other available relief.” Simply put, if enacted, the Enumerated Powers Act would require Congress to specify the basis of authority in the U.S. Constitution for the enactment of laws and other congressional actions. HR 1359 has 28 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

Boaz says this: Congress should affirm the wisdom of the Founders in not granting the federal government any power over education and return the vital function of education to the states, localities, and families where it can be managed best.

Congress should do that.  They need a little encouragement from the people who put them in their places of power.  The bottom line is the people’s vote.  Whether they choose to assert that power or not, it is most certainly a controlling factor in our society.

Still interested?  Thank you!  The Washington Post has a Naomi Wolf article called Hey, Young Americans, Here’s a Text for You 
An excerpt:

The United States has been blessed with more than 200 years of a strong democracy, so it’s easy to yield to a comforting — and lazy — conviction that it’s magically self-sustaining and doesn’t need to be defended, an idea that would have horrified the Founders, who knew that our democracy would be a fragile thing.

Here’s my glom onto her article along with some of my other thoughts on the Illinois Review: Freedom is not self-sustaining


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